Internet highlights – w/c 27th September 2015

3 10 2015

They’re making a sequel to Enchanted

How long it takes to start binge-watching different shows

Who really wrote The Playbook in HIMYM?

Sweden are trying out a 6 hour working day

click for larger image

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Mary Poppins – by P L Travers

21 07 2015

Most people have seen the film Mary Poppins, but not many have read the book. However, last year I saw the film Saving Mr Banks, which is all about when the story was sold to Disney to be made into a film, told alongside Travers’ childhood story, and it stirred my interest in reading the original children’s book. (Trailers for both films can be found at the bottom of this post)

mary poppins

I was surprised at how different it was; I didn’t like the character of Mary Poppins at all. But before I get into that, some other major differences between the book and the film.

  • There are four Banks children in the book: Jane & Michael who we know from the film, but also twin babies John and Barbara.
  • Bert (the chimney sweep) barely gets a look in. He’s in the first chapter, and gets a mention in the last, but doesn’t appear at all in between.
  • Mr Banks doesn’t have any trouble with his job at the bank at all (I wonder if this comes up in a later book?)

If I had to describe Ms Poppins in 5 words from this book I would go with: Vain, Stern, Conceited, Serious, Grumpy. I know in the film she is quite stern and serious, but at least she smiles and has fun sometimes. I think she was Disneyfied for the film; in the book she doesn’t smile once. She also has a complete fascination with how she looks – I quote from the penultimate chapter while they are out Christmas shopping:

“May we look at the windows first?” said Michael hopping excitedly on one leg.
“I don’t mind” said Mary Poppins with surprising mildness. Not that Jane and Michael were really very surprised, for they knew that the thing Mary Poppins liked doing best of all was lookinh in shop windows. They knew, too, that while they saw toys and books and holly-boughs and plum cakes Mary Poppins saw nothing but herself reflected there.
“Just look at you!” said Marry Poppins to herself, particularly noticing how nice her new gloves with the fur tops looked. They were the first pair she had ever had, and she thought she would never grow tired of looking at them in the shop windows with her hands inside them. And having examined the reflection of the gloves she went carefully over her whole person – coat, hat, scarf and shows, with herself inside – and she thought that, on the whole, she had never seen anybody looking quite so smart and distinguished.

So all in all I did not like this woman!

The book is essentially a set of short stories. The first chapter covers Mary Poppins’ arrival, and the final chapter, her departure, but each of the others is its own little adventure or story, so I guess in the childrens’ book world, you could read a chapter a night as a bedtime story. I’m aware this is me as an adult reading a childrens’ book that was not designed for me!

One thing I noticed was that in the film Saving Mr Banks, P L Travers says she doesn’t want anything red in it “I’ve simply gone off the colour”, and yet in the book, there’s a whole chapter about The Red Cow! That said, maybe at that point she knew which parts of the book would be coming across and so knew that that wouldn’t be included.

I definitely felt a little disheartened after reading this book as Mary Poppins wasn’t at all appealing as a person, but the stories were definitely fun and imaginative!

The next Disney princess

4 02 2015

Dear Disney,

I know you’ve come a long way since the traditional, damsel in distress, can’t do anything without a prince, Disney princess. In the last few years we’ve seen the first black Disney princess, as well as one who was saved by a sister instead of a prince, but I think there are so many more areas to cover to help the rest of us feel included.

When will we see a Disney princess who:

  • wears glasses
  • can’t control her eyebrows
  • has unruly hair
  • has acne
  • has gappy or crooked teeth
  • is a plus size
  • sniffs occasionally, just because it’s cold out
  • bites her nails

These are things that we can’t necessarily help about ourselves, and it’d just make the princesses far more relateable.

Yes I may be in my mid-20s but I think you’ll find that a lot of us this age grew up on Disney and are still pretty big fans and loyal customers of the brand!


If you’re a fan of things like buzzfeed, and are gifted in the art of photoshop, feel free to try and produce images of some of these princesses!

Internet highlights w/c 25th January 2015

31 01 2015

The internet was made for things like this: If Disney Princesses had realistic hair

Or maybe you’d just like a Disney Princess in your hair?

Cats that love water

Emma Watson is going to play Belle in new live action Beauty and the Beast

Mentally disabled man sentenced to death in the USA

Best date ideas ever

All female line-up for Ghostbusters 3 sounds brilliant!

So so many plot faults in Friends – also they missed the one about Ross being a medical miracle vs Jack and Judy having to get married quickly because they’d gotten pregnant…

Study shows that parents of two children favour the younger one

Mind and Soul have launched the Mental Health Access Pack to help churches support those with mental health conditions

Uber static dog

First four Celebrity Bake Off contestants announced – Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Dame Edna Everage and Lulu

The problem with being punctual

Friday five favourite: Loved and Hated characters from The Jungle Book

26 09 2014

It’s a while since I’ve done one of these, but last week a friend of mine was raving about The Jungle Book, and I realised just how long it is since I’ve seen it!

The thing with the Jungle Book is, in general, I love it, however, there are an awful lot of characters I dislike in it, and a lot that creep me out, so I’ve put them below, and then balanced that out with a list of the characters I love!

Weirdly, Mowgli isn’t in either list… I’m a bit indifferent to him! King Louie is another that I part love, part don’t, so he doesn’t make either list.

Kaa – obviously! He can hypnotise, he can strangle… way too dangerous!

Shere Khan – another obvious one, he’s out to kill, ’nuff said.
shere khan

The girl – maybe a bit less obvious, but she’s being all flirty with Mowgli, and luring him away from the life that he loves!

Bagheera – again, not so obvious. He’s way too strict and grumpy, doesn’t enjoy the fun things, doesn’t smile, and wants to send Mowgli away!

Colonel Hathi – another grumpus. General rule of thumb, I generally struggle with characters that don’t smile. Also big and scary.
colonel hathi


The Wolves – the cubs are just so cute, and they looked after Mowgli instead of eating him…

Hathi Junior – adorable, you wouldn’t think he was the Colonel’s child. Fun loving, and welcomes Mowgli instantly.

The Vultures – it’s only now that I re-watch as a grown up that I realise they were based on the beatles! Four Liverpudlian singers with weird hair…! Hilarious though – these are the characters that we repeatedly quoted at Primary School!

Baloo – I just want to cuddle him and hang out – so much fun

Winifred the Elephant (Colonel Hathi’s Wife) – this woman has sass. Colonal Hathi might be terrifying, but she can still tell him what’s what, tell him what to do and he listens!

And just as an added bonus – last week that friend pointed out that in the clip below (at 1 minute in), Bagheera quotes 1 John 3v16… that slightly redeemed him in my eyes!
It also goes on to some of the good Vulture stuff 🙂